Cuomo Calls For State Police Probe Into Jewish Cemetery Vandalism

Mar 3, 2017

Governor Andrew Cuomo is calling on the State Police to launch an investigation into a report that several headstones were toppled at a Jewish cemetery in Rochester this week.

Cuomo is calling for the probe into the report at  least five headstones were pushed over at the Waad Hakolel Cemetery, also known as the Stone Road Cemetery.

An official there is quoted in the D&C  as saying he doesn’t know if it is a hate crime at this point, but Cuomo says given recent incidents at Jewish cemeteries nationwide as well as bomb threats made to Jewish Community Centers, he wants an investigation.

Meredith Dragon is the CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester, and she’s glad officials are showing a lot of concern about these incidents.

“They should be taking it seriously, we’re living in troubled times, there’s certainly all of the bomb threats to the JCC’s and Jewish day schools , many of which are in New York . There have been 26 acts of anti-Semitism in the last month in New York alone  it’s important that we get a handle on what’s going on and why it’s happening," Dragon told WXXI News.

The Jewish Federation in Rochester says that regardless of intent, the cemetery incident must be treated as a crime motivated by anti-Semitism. Rochester Police say they are also investigating the incident and take very seriously any potential act of anti-Semitism or any other bias-related incident.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Rochester issued a statement condemning the vandalism, saying that "this rise in anti-Semitic language and behavior is very concerning."  Officials say members of the Rochester chapter are ready to assist in any way.